How Hard Are MBA Programs?

How Hard Are MBA Programs?

Learn how to prepare yourself for the challenge of an MBA program.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a prestigious degree that will improve your resume no matter what specific area of business you plan to pursue. However, earning your MBA takes a serious commitment. Most MBA programs require two years of schooling, although certain universities offer one-year MBA programs.

Before enrolling in a program, talk to admissions officers, faculty members and people who have earned an MBA in order to get a feel for the rigors of this program.

Once you know you have the time and are willing to put forth the necessary effort, use this guide to help prepare you for your studies.

GMAT Scores for MBA Programs?

All MBA students are required to take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), a standardized test that is one of the determining factors for acceptance.

  • The test is broken into three parts: quantitative, verbal and analytical writing.
  • A high score on the GMAT requires an understanding not only of the material but of how the test is structured. Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the format and the time allotted to each section.
  • There is a severe penalty if you do not complete the test. Don’t rush yourself, but ideally you should spend around two minutes for questions in the verbal and quantitative sections.
  • Your score will depend on how many questions you answered correctly, the number of questions you answer, and the difficulty level of each question.

You can learn more about the test and download free prep software at the official GMAT website.

Online vs. On-Site MBA Programs

You can earn an MBA entirely online, and many of the programs are equal to those in a traditional classroom setting. Schools such as Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Charlotte offer online MBA programs in addition to on-site programs.

Online programs require just as much time and effort, so don’t think that an online program will be easier to complete. If you are trying to decide between an online and an on-site program, make your decision based on affordability and your schedule.

Life After Business School

Do not assume that an MBA will guarantee you a job after you get your degree. While it will certainly improve your chances and bolster your resume, you will still have to work diligently like any other graduate. Educate yourself in the fields that are hiring more than others. According to The Wall Street Journal, technology, health care and energy were fields that saw a high percentage of 2010 graduates receive jobs.

MBA Programs: Tips and Tactics

  • Most schools will require you to have at least two years of full-time work experience in order to gain acceptance into an MBA program. You can apply as an undergraduate, but be ready to handle rejection if you do so.
  • Know what you are studying before you enroll. Because of the demands of an MBA program, you most likely won’t have the time or opportunities to change programs. Many schools offer specialized MBAs in such areas as accounting, criminal justice, finance and marketing.
  • Start out with a light course load, especially if you have work or other obligations. After your first semester, you can take more classes if you feel you can handle the extra work.


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